This post was most recently updated on September 21st, 2022
So you are planning on traveling to Cyprus, but you don’t know anything about the country? Yeah, I have been there too. I learned about the stuff about Cyprus only after visiting the country. But don’t you worry, today in this article we are going to learn about 17 things you should know before your travel to Cyprus.
Citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore can stay in the south or north for up to three months without a visa. All that is needed by most foreign nationals to enter north or south Cyprus is a valid passport.
There are a few countries exempt from the passport requirement, including Nationals from Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Iceland, who only require a national identity card for entry. Here are some other entry requirements for Cyprus.
- Covid vaccination certificate
- Negative PCR Test (If you don’t have a vaccination certificate)
- A valid passport
- Flight tickets / itinerary
- Bank statement/ proof of sufficient funds
- Proof of Accommodation in Cyprus
- Travel medical insurance
- Additional documents depending on the purpose of travel
For a long time, arrivals in Cyprus had to be re-tested at the airport at their own expense. This stopped many travelers who were afraid to go into isolation.
- From April 18, 2022, all vaccinated citizens over the age of 12 are exempted from taking a PCR test 72 hours before arrival. That is, you can simply fly with a vaccination certificate (vaccines approved by WHO are recognized).
- Unvaccinated tourists must fly with a test that was taken no earlier than 72 hours in advance. The test must be in English, the result must be negative, and the vaccine must be approved by the European Medicines Agency. You don’t need to take an arrival test.
Cyprus is divided into two parts
Cyprus got its independence from the UK in 1960, and when the British left, tension started growing in Cyprus. Turkey then invaded Cyprus and divided the island into two parts. Today they are called the southern part and the northern part. The southern part is called the Republic of Cyprus, while the northern part is called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Only Turkey recognizes the northern part as part of Turkey, other than that, the whole world recognizes the northern part as part of the Republic of Cyprus.
One should know about the partition if they want to explore the whole island. The southern part uses Euro as its official currency and the northern part uses the Turkish Lira as its official currency.
Cyprus Area, Population, and Time
The total area of Cyprus is 9,251 sq km (3,572 sq mi), and it is 0.11% water. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Based on the Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data, the current population of Cyprus as of Tuesday, August 16, 2022, is estimated to be around 1,226,259.
Cyprus is located in the Eastern Mediterranean sea and it follows the Eastern European Time.
UTC + 2 (Eastern European Time)
UTC + 3 (Eastern European Summer Time)
Learn basic Greek Language
Learning the basics of the local language is always handy. Even though the majority of Cypriots can speak English, it’s always nice to greet them in their own language.
|Nice to meet you||HA-ree-ka po-LEE|
|How are you||tee-KAH-nis|
Cyprus is safe to Travel
Cyprus is one of the safest countries in the European Union. Cyprus has low crime rates and less violent activities.
Cameras are placed in almost every public place, which is why people don’t dare to commit a crime.
The crime rate in Cyprus is low, but petty crimes such as pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur, particularly in urban and tourist areas. So, you are suggested to keep your passport and money safe.
There are no railroads in Cyprus. There is only bus service between cities or you can also take a cab. Buses in Cyprus travel on a fixed schedule. But sometimes, they might be late, so you should never rely totally on a bus.
If you are in a hurry and need to travel to another city, I highly suggest you book a cab rather than waiting for a bus.
There are a lot of car hire companies in Cyprus. You can google their address and know about their services.
How much money to take to Cyprus?
Cyprus is quite expensive, but not as expensive as the UK or the USA. If you have 500 – 700 Euros, you can comfortably travel in Cyprus for a week. If you want to buy souvenirs, you might need extra money then.
Book accommodation in advance. Cyprus is a popular destination and in the summer good accommodation options sell out quickly.
Also, book a car in advance and pick it up right at the airport. It is more convenient and so you save on taxis.
Photography is prohibited within military areas in both the south and the north, and this is strictly enforced. Many monasteries, churches, and museums also ban photography, partly because of the intrusive nature of flash, but also because it can harm delicate paintings, artifacts, and fabrics.
Cyprus is not a Schengen country
Cyprus is geographically and culturally in Europe. Cyprus joined European Union on May 1, 2004. Nevertheless, Cyprus still isn’t in the Schengen Zone. But, if you have a Schengen visa, you can travel to Cyprus. Since June 2014 Cyprus accepts a valid Schengen Visa (category C, double or multiple entries) equivalent to its national visa for transit through or intended stay on its territory not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period.
Will Cyprus join Schengen in 2022 or 2023? Nobody can say. It’s up to the European Union and the government of Cyprus to decide.
Currency and Language
As we already discussed, the Southern part of Cyprus uses Euro as its currency and the northern part uses the Turkish Lira. People in South Cyprus mainly speak Greek and the people in the Northern part mainly speak Turkish. Both Greek and Turkish are the official languages of Cyprus.
English is considered the secondary language of Cyprus.
You can exchange your Dollar or Pound into Euro at any money exchanger. You can also exchange them at the airport or the local banks.
Best time to visit Cyprus
If you love summer visit Cyprus in June, July, and August, and if you love the winter season, January, February, and March would be better for you. You can also get to see snow in Troodos, Cyprus during the winter season.
Do not choose July and August for hiking and cycling: it is too hot. If you go to archaeological sites in the summer, it’s best to get up early before the sun gets too aggressive.
If you wish to learn more you can click here to read about the climate in Cyprus.
Cyprus drives on the left-hand side
Like the UK, Cyprus drives on the left-hand side. The minimum driving age is 18 years old. Children under five cannot travel as front seat passenger. Children over five and under ten must use a suitable child restraint system.
The maximum speed limit is 100 km/hour for buses, passenger cars, and motorcyclists. The minimum speed limit is 65 Km/hour.
The maximum speed limit is 80 km/hour for trucks (heavier than 3,000 kg) and also for vehicles with a trailer. The minimum speed limit is 65 Km/hour.
If animals are transported by cars, they should be transported in cages or boxes that are specifically made for this purpose.
Documents to bring while driving:
- Driving Licence
- Proof of Insurance
- Two warning triangles are compulsory
- Vehicle registration information
Toilets and Washrooms
Public toilets are uncommon, though where they exist they are usually free, and are well kept. Otherwise, the most convenient are toilets in bars, restaurants, cafés, and hotels. If you’re not a customer, it’s polite to make a small purchase, or to ask permission and leave a tip.
The city of Paphos is internationally famous as the whole city of Paphos is a UNESCO world heritage site. It was included in the world heritage site in 1980.
Paphos is linked with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. It is said that Aphrodite was born in Paphos. If you wish to learn more click here to read about Aphrodite in detail.
The European emergency number 112 works alongside 199 as the emergency number in Cyprus. Users with disabilities can contact the emergency services by fax at 1408 or 1409 and by SMS to 8112.
The average time to answer a 112 call is 9 seconds.
Emergency number 112 is for when you need urgent help, for instance when your life is in immediate danger, or if someone is seriously injured and needs prompt medical attention, or if you have witnessed a serious crime like assault, murder, robbery, or a break-in.
Tipping at a restaurant or a hotel
When tipping, in most situations, a service charge of ten percent is already added to the bill, and all that is required is that when paying you round up to the nearest euro. If there is no service charge then add ten percent yourself.
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